Meet The Two Plus Size Models in Sports Illustrated’s Swim Search Final 16

Sports Illustrated continues to include more plus size curves within the pages of its iconic Swim Issue.

Their latest search for the next group of swim beauties to be featured in the next issue has now been narrowed down to their Final 16 and we are excited to learn that two of those 16 women are plus size models that we know and love.


Veronica Pome’e and Jazzmine Carthon celebrated their Final 16 achievement, along with the other finalists, with a trip to Miami recently, where they both walked the runway during the Paraiso Fashion Fair.

View this post on Instagram

I tried to wait until my happy tears dried and my nerves calmed down to post but here I am, a whole day and a half later and I’m still crying and my nerves are still a wreck (in a good way, of course lol)!! I can barely put into words (seriously, I’ve erased & rewritten this caption several times now 🤦🏾‍♀️) how overjoyed I am, how grateful I feel, and how hard it is for me to even understand how I got here. I’ve literally had to give myself pep talks about how I deserve to be here on this runway with the other individually beautiful women to represent my own kind of beauty! I’m here to represent the beauty that has brown skin, thick thighs, curls, cellulite, and above all of that, CONFIDENCE!!! I feel so honored to be amongst such a diverse and powerful group of women who didn’t come here to tear each other down and really spent the past few days uplifting each other, hyping each other up, crying on each other’s swimsuits, and learning how to do the “Kiki, Do You Love Me” dance lol. @mj_day and the @si_swimsuit team surely picked an awesome #Sweet16 for this year’s #SISwimSearch. Thank you @si_swimsuit so much for seeing a special light in me and giving me this platform to help me share it with the world! And a special thank you to everyone for your well wishes, positive vibes, prayers, and congratulations. Your support has fully surpassed my expectations and I appreciate the love more than you know!! I really hope you all feel as amazing and triumphant as we did out on that runway!! Another step towards a more diverse, inclusive, and multidimensional industry is a win for ALL of us!!! [Look 2 of 3 for the @si_swimsuit @paraisofashionfair runway show]

A post shared by Jazzmine Carthon (@jazzminecarthon) on


View this post on Instagram

When you operate in your purpose, even your mistakes work towards your good. Let courage expand your life. TRUST ME!!!!!! I want to say thank you again to the entire @si_swimsuit team and production for making me feel so beautiful and at my best! As one of the biggest girls to strut down their runway there is no greater feeling!!!!! Everyone was so nice and warm welcoming. You really do feel the FAMILY vibe! It’s so genuine and sincere, I’m so blessed to have these divine encounters where my light acknowledges yours. From everyone behind the scenes to the film crew, casting crew, my nail tech, to my hair and make-up, stylist who I adore, the interns, and even the younger girls who were helping out during the casting and bringing me tissue to wipe my ugly tears when they announced the final 16. I can totally see myself in you girls just looking up to all the gorgeous women in the room going after their dreams! Words aren’t enough to describe this feeling but I am even more so inspired and motivated to share this feeling and instill this idea that one day you can make the intangible TANGIBLE!!!!!!!!! #walkitlikeitalkit #dare2dream #siswimsearch #queensinspirequeens #youniversal #levels #celebrateyou #GLOWUP

A post shared by Velonika Pome’e (@veronicapomee) on

We have loved seeing the rise of the careers of both models. Pome’e hit the ground running when she won the Ashley Stewart model search over two years ago and also graced the cover of our 10th anniversary issue in July 2016. 

Pome’e is not only a model but a body positive advocate who founded the movement called Change in Love USA at age 21. She believes that modeling has created a platform to raise awareness for the things that matter most to her including creating a safe place for freedom of expression and self love to the younger generation.

She has since worked with major brands such as NY & Company and this is just the beginning for her. This Tongan beauty is now Sports Illustrated’s first Polynesian model to be featured.You might have seen Carthon on Project Runway’s season 16 as she was one of the plus size models to be included in that season’s mission to use models of different sizes. She has worked with brands such as Macy’s, Ashley Stewart and Good American while using her platform to promote body positivity and self-esteem.

She also works with Pome’e through the social awareness group MCTA they created, which stands for Model Call to Action, helping hurricane survivors with charity efforts.

Both models are also besties, both signed to IPM Models and both live in New York City. We’re so excited for them being chosen as part of the Sports Illustrated’s Final 16 and have our fingers crossed that they both make it to that cover. We can’t think of anything more amazing than these two besties sharing the SI cover and showing that models come in all shapes and sizes.

Click here to follow Veronica Pome’e on Instagram and here to follow Jazzmine Carthon.

More Stories
The History of Plus Size Modeling